Prayer and Hajj
ulema (scholars, or doctors of religion) seem to disagree as to the
(the direction, of the Ka'ba, one must face while praying) in New York, USA and other places in North America. Is it possible that you explain to us in some detail as to which direction we should set our faces to be in line with the qibla?
Determining the qibla in those
far flung places, in which the curve of the earth constitutes an obstruction,
could be achieved by drawing parallel lines from the foothold of the person who
is praying. These lines follow the curve of the earth to the direction where
Ka'ba is situated until these lines go over its position, albeit on the premise
of probability. That is the direction of these notional lines can be seen aiming
correctly, if you extend a string from the position of the praying person and
the position of Ka'ba on the globe. It is important, though, to making sure that
it is straight and tilting neither to the right nor the left. The experiment
will prove that the direction of this string in New York, North America, is to
the East North by a measure indicated by the string itself.
those who may say that Holy Mekka is located under the 22 Parallel and New York
is above the 40 Parallel, requiring those setting their face in the direction of
the Holy Ka'ba to tilt towards the South not the North.
We have this to
say to them. This may be true if you were looking at a flat map not a global
one. The skewness of the string, used in the global map, has resulted from the
difference between the two points when it is observed about the North and South
Poles. To prove this experiment, ignore the four static corners of the globe and
turn it around; assume that the position of Holy Mekka is at the top, where the
North Pole is; you will have noticed that the direction of the string is the
same. Thus, he who is standing in New York has to stand facing the direction of
the string without leaning to the right.
Furthermore, Having more in
favour of this argument is that you have to adhere to the notional straight line
that runs through the earth between the station of the person and the holy
Ka'ba. For, since it is impossible stick to this notional line, you have to
resort to the direction taken by the curved string between the two points, i.e.
from New York to East North.
Nevertheless, he, who faces the East South
in his prayer, is bound by the legal proof he is satisfied with. Allah is All
(Q.2) We have pointed out in the previous question as to the
differences regarding the correct direction of qibla. What is the ruling
on the dead who were buried in a direction that was prevalent then and,
afterwards, a new direction was found to be the correct one, noting that
exhuming the bodies or remains poses untold embarrassment?
apparent from the question, there is no need for change.
performing Jumuah [Friday Congregational] Prayer make up for Dhuhr (Noon)
prayer on Friday? Which one is preferable to perform?
Jumuah prayer, according to the conditions stipulated in Shari'a
law, is preferable than saying Dhuhr prayer. In so doing it makes up for
(Q.4) Has any one the right to object to holding
Jumuah prayer under the pretext that Maraj'ul Muslimeen (Muslims
Religious Authorities) in Holy Najaf and Holy Qum do not hold it. However,
residents of the country where the Mukkallaf (compos mentis, or the
person obligated to observe the precepts of religion) lives hold it in
compliance with their juridical school of thought?
No one has the
right. The non-holding of Jumuah prayer by some Maraji', who
maintain that holding it is preferable than saying Dhuhr prayer and that
it makes up for the latter, might be attributed to personal judgement or excuses
of that sort. It does not, therefore, follow that others can not hold it.
(Q.5) As a result of expansion some cities, which used to comprise a
number of townships, have become very big ones. Do you consider such cities as
one [physically] or the old demarcations between its different neighbourhoods
should be observed? Say, you set out on a journey heading to some other
destination, from the eastern most point. The time for prayer was due, while you
were still within its boundaries, that is in the westernmost point. Do you
perform your prayer tamam (in its entirety) or qasr (shortened
form). Also, when you return to such a big city and the time for prayer was due,
while you were in its outskirts, do you say your prayer qasr or
tamam? And what is the ruling on fasting in such a situation?
As explained in the question, such a city is considered one, i.e. the
rule of different towns is not applicable. Of course, the yardstick in
calculating the distance is the definition of Musafir (traveller). If
such a city is very big and it fulfils the definition, when the person embarks
on his journey from his neighbourhood, though it be inside the city, the rule of
Musafir applies here. Thus, the distance is calculated from the
approaches of the neighbourhood of the Mukkallaf. If the definition does
not apply unless he gets out of the city, the end of the city should be the
start of calculating the distance from the edge of tarakhus (the point at
the parameter of a town, when, for instance, adhan "call for prayer" can
(Q.6) Someone brought with him a garment from another
country. He did not pay duty on it because he did not declare it. Is it
considered as maghsoub (usurped) and can he say his prayer wearing such a
It is not considered as maghsoub and there is no
harm in saying prayer wearing it.
(Q.7) Is it permissible for a
person to delay saying his prayer to attend Hussaini commemoration gatherings
held during Muharram?
It is permissible. However, it is
preferable to say prayers at their prescribed times. It is, therefore, incumbent
on the people organising such gatherings to hold them in such manner that they
do not coincide with prayer times.
(Q.8) A young person, who has the
means to perform hajj, had to sit his exams at the time of hajj.
If he were to go for hajj, this would have affected his results and
consequently his study. What should he do?
If he was sure of his
financial ability to perform hajj at a later year, it is permissible for
him to delay it. Otherwise - as it happens - performing hajj becomes
obligatory in the year in question. Of course, if in so doing he may fail the
exams, for example, and that this eventuality would pose him with a great
embarrassment, so much so that his position would become untenable, it would not
(Q.9) A financially able person did not perform
hajj yet. Is it permissible for him to perform umrah (lesser
pilgrimage) during the month of Rajab? What if he became able during the
month of Ramadhan? Could he do umrah?
Mufradah (a type of lesser pilgrimage that can be performed at any time,
except the days of hajj "greater pilgrimage" during Thil Hijja) would be
in order. However, if his travel for umrah could result in him being
unable to perform hajj later on, it is not permissible for him to do
(Q.10) A single young man has, rather belatedly, contemplated
getting married. If he were to delay arrangements for his marriage and embark on
the hajj journey, his marriage could be postponed for a while. Which one
takes precedence over the other?
He should go to hajj and
delay the marriage, unless forbearance with being bachelor would make his
position untenable. Allah is All Knowing.